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Can Addressable Advertising Fix TV’s Ad Breaks?

The drive to addressable television advertising lags behind digital media. Closing that gap depends on the right technical and business solution

Home > Can Addressable Advertising Fix TV’s Ad Breaks?

Aug 12, 2020

By Marta

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by Scott Kewley, VP Advanced Advertising and Data Products, Synamedia


You’ve probably noticed that when you search for something, say a vacation destination, you are soon bombarded with ads for flights to the closest airport, hotels, and more. And the same happens when you look for a car, or countless other items.

Personalised online ads are a huge industry because users clearly respond to them.

Put simply, they work.

We increasingly have a personalised and targeted advertising experience when we’re consuming video on digital and mobile platforms. And yet, personalisation of advertising on live, linear and time-shifted services still lags behind. The opportunity to reduce wastage – delivering adverts that aren’t relevant to the viewer – is largely missed.

So why has TV – both broadcast and OTT – advertising been left behind? All parties in the buy and sell value chain are motivated to provide a better experience for their customers. But advertising, especially over broadcast and on live, linear streams, remains rooted in the old mass media world.


It’s time for addressable advertising to fix the TV ad break

There have been businesses that have taken on the challenge of increased relevance in advertising and have proven the model for delivering content targeted to specific audiences – this is known as addressability. Sky have had notable success with their AdSmart addressable advertising platform, and are able to deliver addressable advertising to connected and unconnected devices. Brands and consumers love it, with an increase in awareness and sales for the advertiser and a reduction in channel change during ad breaks for the viewer.

But few have been able to replicate the success of AdSmart. That’s because there are commercial and technical challenges in working across multiple services and devices, including the most valuable of all advertising platforms, one-way broadcast. These challenges fall into two categories:

  • Commercial – how do you get service providers, broadcasters and advertisers to work together? How can you utilise the multiple data sets and analytics across all parts of the advertising value chain? What is their common language and currency?
  • Technical – how can you manage and deliver campaigns across all platforms, including one-way broadcast services, disparate OTT devices over multiple networks, AND ensure that the advert is relevant.

The rewards for meeting these challenges are significant. Bringing together the reach and engagement of prime-time advertising with the precision that digital capability creates will open up new opportunities and new revenue streams for service providers and broadcasters. Segmenting audiences into smaller more targeted groups enables ‘big screen’ advertising to become more accessible to new advertisers, generating additional advertising inventory for the service provider and disrupting the flow of advertising dollars to web and digital platforms.

But this is a difficult nut to crack.


A Ready-Made Addressable TV Advertising Solution

At Synamedia we like a tough challenge. We don’t just look for brilliant engineering solutions, although we certainly have them. We talk to our customers about their business, about where they are and where they want to go. We take a holistic approach, bringing together the best technologies into a single solution.

This is why we are launching Synamedia Iris, our new addressable advertising solution for multi-screen, network agnostic advertising. And we mean multi-screen – including one-way linear broadcast, the biggest challenge in the industry.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be describing how we overcome both the commercial and technical challenges of multi-platform addressable advertising.  But in the meantime, if you’d like to know more, download our brochure, or visit our website.


About the Author

Scott Kewley, VP Advanced Advertising and Data Products, Synamedia heads the company’s initiatives in addressable advertising and data monetization. This business builds on the firm’s collaboration with Sky on the development of the AdSmart personalized ad targeting platform.

Prior to joining Synamedia in August 2019, Scott was MD of UK OTT aggregator TVPlayer. Before that he was a senior executive at BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide), responsible for developing a new OTT service. Scott also spent six years at Liberty Global, where he held the role of Director of Digital Entertainment for Virgin Media. Additionally, he spent 10 years with Walt Disney, most recently as International Director of Engineering.

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